For the second straight month, ESPN -- thanks to its NFL “Monday Night Football” programming, as well as college football and basketball -- grabbed the top U.S. cable network honors for November, averaging 2.8 million prime-time Nielsen-measured live program-plus-same day viewers.
This is a 12% improvement over November 2020 (2.5 million).
Last month, ESPN beat out Fox News Channel, which came in at 2.6 million viewers.
Fox was in second place in prime time for the second straight month. The Hallmark Channel, with plenty of its regular end-of-the-year holiday TV movies and series in tow, was third-best at 1.6 million.
MSNBC was in fourth place, but second in the cable TV news category, at 1.09 million. The other major cable news TV competitor, CNN, was 15th overall at 654,000.
After MSNBC comes the Paramount Network (1.08 million); HGTV (867,000); TBS (834,000); TLC (830,000); INSP (formerly The Inspiration Network, 758,000); and TNT (753,000), completing the top 10.
A year ago in November -- during the heat of the presidential election -- the three big TV networks dominated the proceedings with eye-popping November prime-time numbers: Fox News Channel, 3.9 million, CNN at 2.8 million and MSNBC at 2.6 million.
In addition to the cable news networks losing ground this year, other networks that declined include Hallmark Channel, falling 6%; HGTV, sinking 21%, TBS, down 11%; and TLC, giving up 6%.
Top networks that saw increases in November include INSP, up 25%, and TNT, 12% higher.